Launcher and App Store for Smart TV

The Client
Ossify Group
UX Design, UI Design, Branding, Android App Development
The Ossify team approached us to create a sleek UI Experience for their smart TV. This includes the designing of a custom launcher and allowing them to customize branding and have their own app store. They just entered into an agreement with Compaq for selling and manufacturing of Smart TV under their branding. Compaq wants to enter into the Smart TV space. Having a strong foothold in the manufacturing segment worldwide, through their uncompromising work ethics, they were looking for similar partner for their software counterpart.
The Work
Ossify already had some Smart TV running stock Android versions. These stock android are made compatible with TV hardware and work in conjunction with them. Customization are available to them but limited. Also have google play store adds another layer of licensing issues which for a new player in market is quite a challenge. Branding is the main concern on which their product launching is highly dependent on.

Based on our expertise in native Android development and Android as a platform, we proposed few changes to their challenges along with some workarounds. These workarounds are for portions which are restricted or causing android to become unstable.
The Challenge
Competitive Smart TV viewing experience for end user


1) Custom launcher for easy navigation and relevant information for users

2) Self hosted App Store along with exclusive apps

3) Branding establishment in the android kernel
The Approach
  • Creating and implementing launcher was simpler and with UI fixed it was much easier for developer to implement and adjust the design according to required Smart TV sizes.
  • Main concern aroused when default launcher on some devices override the custom launcher built. Primary cause of this is the system preference set by android to restrict any override to add any other launcher.
  • Another aspect of launcher is the remote control handling. Some  buttons on the remote of the Smart TV allows default launcher to pop open.
  • Since both issues are linked to single problem. Overriding of default launcher. For this the team come up with few ideas of tweaking some properties of Smart TV OS. On devices where these tweaking are not allowed, some work-around were implemented.
  • Add custom app store is just like installing another application on the android. It’s services were implemented and made to bind with the custom launcher to work as required.
  • Adding branding to Smart TV requires thorough study of the device’s OS. As some devices requires few codes to be written to override the branding while some requires replacement of logo and icons while booting the Smart TV OS. This costs us quite some time courtesy to the lengthy documentation. But reaching the goals covered up everything.
The Results

Well Ossify got their Smart TV up and running with custom launcher and branding as required by them before the beginning of the project. Now with everything setup they are ready to launch their Smart TV in the market. Creating apps for Smart TV just like creating app for any other android. But bringing customization and moving down to the core of the OS was the essence of this project. Do checkout the designs of the launcher at the link below.

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